Modeling and predicting the effect of culture in communication: A mixed study using naming game and social networks

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Informatics, Cognitive Science, Turkey

Approval Date: 2014




In this study we proposed a model that highlights the effect of culture in language and form a hypothesis that suggests we can see these effects on the utterances of individuals and predict their behavior. We used a variation of the famous naming game to simulate our model, and later compared our results with the empirical data we collected from an online social network platform, twitter. The use of hashtags as an act of labelling for popular topics is investigated due to the resemblance of the phenomenon with the naming game. The simulation of the model created a population with varying preferences on the topics of communication, which is a more realistic approach than the always converging case of the classical naming game. Another cultural force on partner selection, generated a topology within the population from an initial state of homogeneity. Empirical results were compatible with the simulation that uses those cultural forces and the model has a high predictive power within the scope of selected topics. A strong correlation is found between the similarity of previous use of hashtags and the hashtag use about two important political events. However, the model requires a large number of data for implementation and also has computational limitations that makes it difficult to be used for practical purposes.